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Old American slang

Old American slang


I am trying to translate one of Ring Lardner's short stories, The Golden Honeymoon, for my graduation thesis, and I had some difficulties with the old slang he uses in his work. I have a few words and idioms, and although I found the basic explanation for them, I need some further assistance in establishing the right description for these concepts, so I can find the right equivalent.

1. "For a present my son-in-law paid the difference between a section and a compartment so as we could have a compartment and have more privatecy. In a compartment you have an upper and lower berth just like the regular sleeper, but it is a shut in room by itself and got a wash bowl. The car we went in was all compartments and no regular berths at all."

I can't seem to fully understand what is the difference between a section and a compartment.

2. "Hartsell and his wife lived in a house on Third Avenue North and had a private setting room besides their bedroom."

Is this the same as a living room?

3. "A woman named Mrs. Oxford rendered some selections which Mrs. Hartsell said was grand opera music, but whatever they was my daughter Edie could of give her cards and spades and not made such a hullaballoo about it neither."

What does "give her cards and spades" mean?

4. "When Hartsell pitches, he has got to chew and it kept the ladies on the anxious seat as he don't seem to care which way he is facing when he leaves go."

Does this refer to spitting in the "ladies" direction?

Thank you in advance and I hope that someone will be kind enough to help me with these small problems!